Don't give failed boss a second golden pay-off; Union's fears as health jobs face the axe.Byline: JACK MATHIESON, IAN IAN Interactive Affiliate Network
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HOSPITAL unions fear a health boss is set to win his second golden handshake golden handshake
token of gratitude bestowed on retiring employee after years of service. [Br. Pop. Culture: Misc.]
See : Farewell in two years by quitting his pounds 100,000-a-year job.
They've urged Allister Stewart to stay and solve a financial mess which is set to claim 135 jobs.
Stewart, chief executive of Lothian Universities Hospitals Trust, ordered the cuts despite admitting his trust may be guilty of mismanaging its finances.
They overspent by pounds 1.75million in the last seven months.
The Record can reveal Stewart pocketed a record pounds 200,000 redundancy - enough for 40 hip replacements - after leaving his previous NHS NHS
National Health Service
NHS (in Britain) National Health Service post in Wales Wales, Welsh Cymru, western peninsula and political division (principality) of Great Britain (1991 pop. 2,798,200), 8,016 sq mi (20,761 sq km), west of England; politically united with England since 1536. The capital is Cardiff. two years ago.
Now staff facing the dole fear Stewart - whose salary would pay for six nurses - is about to be handed another huge pay-out.One union source said: "His behaviour is quite blase bla·sé
1. Uninterested because of frequent exposure or indulgence.
2. Unconcerned; nonchalant: had a blasé attitude about housecleaning.
3. Very sophisticated. and there is widespread speculation he will be handed a way out."
The cuts will see 41 nursing and 51 admin jobs axed with support staff to save pounds 3.4million a year.
But Lynn Masson of the Royal College of Nursing The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is a membership organisation with over 395,000 members in the United Kingdom. It was founded in 1916, receiving its Royal Charter in 1928, Queen Elizabeth II is the patron. insisted: "Him going will not solve anything. He has to stay to sort this."
Unison organiser Jim Devine added: "It would be too simplistic sim·plism
The tendency to oversimplify an issue or a problem by ignoring complexities or complications.
[French simplisme, from simple, simple, from Old French; see simple just to demand the head of Allister Stewart.
"The problems affecting this trust are much wider than the actions of one man."
Yesterday, Unison, RCN RCN n abbr (= Royal Canadian Navy) → kanadische Marine and the Royal College of Midwifery called for an urgent meeting with new Health Minister Malcolm Chisholm.
They believe the Private Finance Initiative funding for the new pounds 184million Edinburgh Royal saddles the trust with a pounds 31.5million-a-year bill until 2026.
Devine said: "We want Audit Scotland carry out an independent assessment of trust finances.
"The health board is stuffing the mouths of private contractors with gold instead of stuffing hospitals with doctors and nurses."
Stewart arrived in Edinburgh early last year under the cloud of his hefty pay-off from the University of Wales Affiliated institutions
Within weeks of pocketing his pounds 90,000 salary plus redundancy of more than pounds 100,000 he landed the Edinburgh job, running the Royal Infirmary, Sick Children's Hospital and Western General.
He agreed to return pounds 20,000 to the Welsh body - days before threatening to axe 200 Edinburgh jobs to solve a pounds 4.3million shortfall.
The controversy didn't end there. Last summer, he apologised after snubbing three crisis meetings with medical secretaries threatening pay strikes.
Then, two months ago, it emerged NHS staff would be axed to solve the trust's pounds 5million shortfall. Stewart was also in charge of the pounds 16million overspend o·ver·spend
v. o·ver·spent , o·ver·spend·ing, o·ver·spends
To spend more than is prudent or necessary.
1. on the new Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.
The pounds 184million public-private project is forcing the trust to cut pounds 4million a year in spending until 2005.
A pounds 1.9million-a-year rent rise for the 24-ward complex also means the trust must pay an extra pounds 60million over the 30-year lease.
Yet Stewart has described the pounds 184million project as the "best thing to happen to Lothian NHS in 50 years".
He said recently: "It's easy to say, 'Problems, problems, problems'. We're not about dismissing them, we are about solving them."
Stewart was not available for comment yesterday.
The trust said the job cuts would have the "least impact" on services, with 75 of the 135 posts already vacant.
Malcolm Chisholm said he had asked for an urgent report on the trust's management from Trevor Jones, head of NHS Scotland.
But he added: "Every part of NHS Scotland is already subject to independent scrutiny by Audit Scotland."